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Location: Boise
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 16
Hunting burned areas - Idaho unit 25

A couple of weeks ago, I took my son out to do a bit of pre-season mule deer scouting in unit 25. Since this area had huge burns in 2007, the deer might be hanging out in adjacent areas that were not burned.

When we got into the non-burned areas, there was some deer sign (and a lot of bear) but not nearly as much as I thought we might find. When we eventually dropped down into the burn area, I found fresh sign all over the place. It had rained the evening before and the tracks we found were all fresh. I'm assuming they were in there for the fresh new grass and shrub growth. But I was really, really suprised to find them there.

So my question is this - when the snow flies, how likely is it that these animals will stick around? Is it common for the animals to move back to their old stomping grounds and not travel in and out for cover and feed? The burn area is huge (Cascade complex), so it would be one hell of a daily trek, even for these animals.

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Location: Boise
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 16
Hunting burned areas - Idaho unit 25

Well, our weekend was a bust. Locals said the deer and elk were in the area a couple of weeks ago, but are either hunkering down or have moved on because... the wolves have moved back in. We did see wolf sign - including a doe carcas that had obviously been killed by something other than a human. There was some fresh deer and elk sign - but nothing like it was a few weeks ago. One lodge owner up there said unless you step right on top of one, the deer are hunkering down. While it was great to get away, it was certainly a disappointment to not see anything! I had hoped to bag a buck for myself, but I was more hopeful that my boy would get something on his very first hunt. To not see any animals made it worse.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Hunting burned areas - Idaho unit 25

I don't know what to say other than `ughhhhh'. But it doesn't surprise me that the deer and elk are returning (to the burned areas) under the right conditions. We are the (un)happy observers of the (dual) experiments of letting wolves and fires run wild. Keep us posted.

Offline
Location: Boise
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 16
Hunting burned areas - Idaho unit 25
Serious Hunter wrote:
I don't know what to say other than `ughhhhh'. But it doesn't surprise me that the deer and elk are returning (to the burned areas) under the right conditions. We are the (un)happy observers of the (dual) experiments of letting wolves and fires run wild. Keep us posted.

From my point of view, watching wolf populations and managment in Idaho, it seems as though we are promoting one species at the expense of every other species (I know, I'm captain obvious). If a common sense approach isn't taken, soon, then I think we're going to find more ranchers and sportsmen taking matters into their own hands.

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